Dr. Beckford

Dr. Beckford is currently a Physicist (Program Manager) at the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics. In this role, he is responsible for leading the Intensity Frontier and the U.S. Japan Research programs in High Energy Physics and RENEW-HEP initiative.  He serves as a recognized scientific authority and expert in the area of experimental particle physics for intensity frontier research. His responsibilities include preparing, justifying, and supporting the portions of the Office’s budget relating to experimental particle physics intensity frontier measurements. 


Before his current appointment, he was an assistant research scientist following a two-year(2017-2019) President's Postdoctoral Fellowship (PPFP) at the University of Michigan. In 2020, he was the recipient of University of Michigan, Women in Science and Engineering Program's 2020 Claudia Joan Alexander Trailblazer Award. 

Dr. Beckford worked on the KOTO experiment, conducted at the J-PARC facility in Japan, which is designed to measure the rare CP-violating decay of a neutral long-lived kaon into a neutral pion and a neutrino anti-neutrino pair. Kaon decays are known examples of charge-parity (CP) violation. CP symmetry refers to the idea that there should be an equal amount of matter and antimatter (particles and antiparticles) in the universe, yet observations indicate that matter dominates. CP violation occurs when the probability of a particle's decay into other particles is different from the probability that its antiparticle will decay into the mirror antiparticles, so the CP violation expected in this experiment should provide some insight into the imbalance between matter and antimatter. 


Before coming to the University of Michigan, Dr. Brian Beckford served as the APS Bridge Program project manager in the Department of Education and Diversity for the American Physical Society (APS) in College Park, Maryland. The program focuses on increasing the number of physics PhDs awarded to underrepresented minority (URM) students, including African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students. He is a champion for diversity and inclusiveness in physics and astronomy, and for providing opportunities to people of color in STEM fields.


He was a recipient of the competitive Super Doctor Fellowship to study at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and also was also awarded the Tohoku Kaihatsu Memorial Foundation Research Fellowship in 2011. Dr. Beckford earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Tohoku University in 2013. His research interests are strangeness nuclear physics, rare decays, physics beyond the standard model, and instrumentation. Brian grew up in Miami after moving from Jamaica and was a graduate of the Design and Architecture Senior High (D.A.S.H). He was part of the second cohort of Ronald E. McNair Scholars at Florida International University and received his Bachelors of  Science in Physics. Dr. Beckford later earned his Master in Physics at Florida International University and was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences, Outstanding Academic Achievement as Graduate Student in Physics.